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Influencers Have Become Central To Marketing Strategies

Influencers Have Become Central To Marketing Strategies

Pieter Groenewald from Webfluential says influencer marketing is cutting through the content shock of a digital age.

Lockdown, the global pandemic and the shift to remote working all accelerated the digital economy. Side-by-side with heightened social media use was an increase in influencer marketing. Here’s why. Consumers today are inundated with digital content. A few short years ago, it was estimated that the average person saw 4000 advertising messages a day (and filtered out 95% of them).

In 2014, Mark Schaefer, author of The Content Code and Return on Influence, warned us that the supply of free content being produced by brands was far outstripping the ability of humans to process it. He coined the term ‘content shock’ and counselled that we would soon reach a point where more content would be produced each day than there are people in the world.

Marketers flew into a tailspin – content marketing and digital marketing had become the solution to every challenge marketing teams were facing, but if more content was being produced than people, how could any brand cut through the clutter? And then 2020 came along and said, ‘hold my (homemade) pineapple beer’.

So, why, within all this content chaos, have influencers become central to marketing strategies? The answer is simple. From macro influencers to nano-influencers, influencer marketing is built around real people, and that’s something everyone today is interested in – far more than brand messages that are developed behind closed doors, with no input from the people they are created for.

Understanding the rise of the trust economy

From Hugh Jackman to George Clooney, we are all familiar with celebrities who endorse watch brands, but when you are choosing your next time piece, do you page through a glossy magazine or ask your friends, family and social network for their recommendations?

You will most likely read some online research, and if you are also looking for a time piece that supports your sport or hobby, you will be interested to see which watch the swimmer, runner, cyclist or sailor who you follow on Instagram chooses.

Influencer marketing captures everyone from Charlize Theron, right down to a weekend warrior who has a niche following that loves his trail running advice.

Big names give big brands recognition, and so our celebrity and macro influencers aren’t going anywhere. However, as trust becomes a commodity and as we make more and more purchasing decisions based on direct referrals, social media has opened new categories for micro and nano influencers who can connect online with groups who share their same passions and are interested in their take on life.

We are seeing a shift from macro-influencers to nano-influencers

A macro-influencer is a very well-known influencer who has hundreds of thousands to over a million followers. They’re not J-Z or Beyonce, but their name has clout. Micro-influencers have anywhere between 1000 to one million followers, but instead of being celebrities known for movies or music, they are experts in their respective niche. This usually includes food bloggers, travellers, fitness gurus and fashionistas.

A nano-influencer is defined as an influencer with between 1000 and 10000 followers. This may seem small, but it is important to remember that these audiences are niche and highly engaged, which means they take any recommendations seriously.

If we consider a typical marketing funnel, macro influencers affect the top of the funnel and micro and nano influencers influence actual purchasing decisions.

Social media has been the great democratiser when it comes to influencers, not only because someone with a following of 1000 people can have a real impact on their niche audience, but because smaller brands who could not previously compete with their large corporate counterparts can now run highly effective marketing campaigns with micro and nano-influencers.

It is a whole new world, and brands are making the most of it. Influencer marketing was worth $1.5 billion in 2015. It was dominated by macro-influencers and celebrities with enormous followings. We expect the market to grow to $20 billion within the next few years, and it will be dominated by nano-influencers.

Putting your money where your mouth is

For many years, organic reach was considered superior to paid reach online. The theory was that, based on the trust economy, consumers were more likely to respond favourably to organic posts over posts that were sponsored or paid for.

This has shifted. Once trust is built between an influencer and their followers, sponsored posts are accepted as readily as an organic post. Even more importantly, a sponsored post can reach new audiences who suit the influencer’s demographic and, in many cases, will even serve to grow the influencer’s following.

Algorithms have also changed. A macro-influencer might have five million followers, but only 500,000 of them will see a post. The solution is to seed organic content, see which content performs best with consumers and then sponsor that post to reach more of your target audience. As we have seen, because influencers do not sell products but showcase them within their own lives instead, trust remains the same and brands extend their reach.

The power of authentic content

Influencer marketing has remained relevant – even through the extreme content shock of accelerated screen time and the exponential rise of digital content – because it is authentic.

Influencer content outperforms brand content – always. Think of your own social media habits. Do you only respond to slick, production quality content, or the content that interests you most? We are not usually on social media to shop. We are there because we find the people we follow and the content they generate educational, interesting or entertaining. Exceptional content ticks all three boxes.

There are many ways for brands to tap into this. The first is simply to ask your customers to video or photograph themselves using your product. Encourage them to tag you in the post. User-generated content comes with incredible trust signals, because we know someone has chosen to spend their money with your brand.

The second is to partner with micro and nano-influencers whose lifestyle suits a product. For example, a brand that manufactures trail running shoes connects with someone who regularly posts about their trail runs, training and competition days. They most likely share their favourite running trails and products with their followers too.

The key to success with any influencer marketing, however, is that influencers are themselves, which means brands need to build up trust with the influencers they work with. This is about their brand, their followers and how specific products or services enriches their lives.


The Importance Of Data-Driven Marketing

The Importance Of Data-Driven Marketing
Denise Persson

According to Denise Persson, Chief Marketing Officer at Snowflake, marketers have access to a massive amount of data through multiple channels, both online and offline.

It has never been more important for marketing organisations to be data-driven to deliver business results. The concept of data literacy didn’t exist when I started my career in marketing in the mid-1990s. We had few marketing channels, all of which were offline, and we had to track them manually in spreadsheets. We distributed leads to our sales team on a floppy disk. We sent coupons to prospects, and every day I had to go to the mailbox to see which coupons came back filled out. As scarce as it was, data was still extremely important back then.

Today, new channels are constantly emerging, and each becomes its own data track. However, all of that data goes into different applications and systems, making it very difficult to get a complete picture of what is really going on. We are all striving to reach a real-time, 360-degree view of customers. This is the foundation for personalisation, timing and relevance: how do you send the right offer to the right prospect at the right time?

The more you can master the timing and the relevance, the greater impact you are going to have with your marketing investments. With inaccurate or incomplete data, you get a skewed picture of potential consumers. If you create the wrong offers at the wrong time, all of your marketing will go to waste. Researchers Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart looked at more than US$1 billion of marketing spend by 30 major corporations, and found that 47 percent of the advertising campaigns didn’t work. That is 53 percent of marketing spend wasted.

So how do you reduce the waste and increase the return? It comes down to data literacy — how well you can read, work with, scrutinise and communicate with data. If you have access to all of the data and the ability to analyse and make smart decisions based on it, then your marketing efforts will likely succeed.

The challenge of fragmented data

In a recent survey, 36 percent of company leaders said that of all of their departments, sales/marketing showed the best performance in utilising data-driven insights for strategic purposes.

But over the past two decades, marketers have faced an uphill battle in trying to be data-driven. A proliferation of marketing tools are now used to engage customers over complex customer journeys. Customers expect to have a seamless experience across an ever-expanding set of channels. Organisations face an explosion of data, all stored in silos, that need to be integrated in order to derive insight and smart decisions.

All of these trends have created fragmented data, which is a major barrier to data-driven insights. In a 2020 report, 47 percent of executives surveyed said their top digital customer experience challenge was ‘siloed systems and/or fragmented customer data.’

Thanks to recent developments in cloud and advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), we are finally entering an age of integrated data. We can now access and analyse all of the relevant data available to gain a complete view of customers and tie our marketing investments to business outcomes. This represents the biggest transformational moment for marketers since the birth of digital marketing in the 1990s. It is a bigger step-change than social media.

While technology tools in 2021 allow marketers to connect with customers and prospects with 10 times the precision and business impact, the art of applying these new tools is what separates good companies from great companies. Over the past five years, I have been able to use data to do things I couldn’t previously imagine. I have also had the opportunity to advise CMOs at customer organisations about how to use data to transform their marketing organisations and businesses. Here’s my advice to others:

Establish clear marketing objectives and metrics

It is important to create a strong foundation for all stakeholders to build upon. In marketing, that entails setting goals and tracking progress.

Develop a complete picture of your customer

Tear down your data silos to understand your full range of customer data. Their are tools available to break down data silos to generate a 360-degree view of all of your customers – powering your marketing analytics and allowing you to provide a more personalised experience. Prioritise access to the most strategic data sets available for your business. With real-time, granular insights into product sales and customer demographics, marketers can graduate from stale, weeks-old reports to instant intelligence on customers.

Turn your love/hate relationship with IT into a winning partnership

To align objectives and priorities around being data-driven, marketing needs to establish close relationships with IT and business stakeholders. This needs to be a strategic objective, very much like a mandate. Otherwise, it is not going to work. All teams need to follow a clear roadmap to drive the execution and communicate regularly. At PepsiCo, IT took time to understand the objectives of marketing, then created an advertising ROI Engine which turned 60-plus data across marketing, sales and third-party entities into market insights and predictive models that could be shared frequently, internally and externally.

Become a master of the data

Marketers also need to know how to gain control of the data to amplify their own efforts. Marketing is a big investment and marketers need to be able to demonstrate how that investment is turning into profit for the company. Success is based on how effectively you support the growth of your company, and the only way you can prove that is through data. So having the mastery of data in your skill set is vital for marketers.

Once you establish and track your objectives, eliminate data silos, bring all of your data together and develop the competencies needed to access it, analyse it and achieve insights, you can reach a holistic view of customers and deliver a tailored 360-degree customer experience. You can develop a clear picture of attribution and marketing-spend ROI. You can activate data in real time to create highly targeted, effective campaigns. And, eventually, you can unleash the power of data science products using machine learning and AI to optimise your campaigns. At that point, your data literacy will become a data superpower.


67 Logos Designathon Celebrates Mandela’s Legacy

67 Logos Designathon Celebrates A Legacy

The 67 Logos Designathon provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with free and professionally designed logos and business support through participating partners, all in celebration of Nelson Mandela Day.

Hosted by Over The Rainbow, the 2021 67 Logos Designathon was held on 19 July and saw professionally designed logos being handed over to 69 entrepreneurial businesses and SMEs – at no cost to the businesses. In celebration of Mandela Day, designers dedicated their valuable time to create unique logos for small businesses in need of a professional logo. Havas Creative also supported this year’s initiative by committing 67 taglines to the small businesses participating in the campaign. This fantastic initiative has successfully been helping SMEs for the past three years. Due to the pandemic, this year’s event was hosted online.

67 Logos Designathon Celebrates A Legacy

‘Covid-19 and the recent unrest has had an undeniable negative impact on businesses, leaving many people unemployed and many businesses hit hard. The reality is that entrepreneurs and small businesses are struggling right now. This campaign gives small business owners the boost they need to help kickstart their businesses and allows them to stand out and get noticed, despite the difficult times that we are currently experiencing,’ said Lesley Waterkeyn, the brainchild behind the initiative, Founder and Executive Director at Over The Rainbow.

67 Logos Designathon Celebrates A Legacy

‘The logo that I received represents my vision, and it gives my brand a whole new identity which is aligned with what we’re about and what we do. The process was not easy, as, during these difficult times, our shop was also looted, which left me defeated. However, the designer that I was paired with helped me realise that my dreams are still valid. He even came up with the expression ‘fashion gallery creative living’ which made me realise that our brand is not just about clothes. So, we will be adding some new and exciting products to our brand. In the middle of all this craziness, something beautiful was created,’ said Nothando Ntuli, Founder and owner of Fashion Gallery.

‘I worked with Ntuli, whose shop was broken into during the current unrest in the country. She lost everything, which nearly derailed her business, but she bounced back amazingly and enthusiastically and is keen to get her business back on track and even expand it. This has been an amazing experience, the 67 Logos Designathon is an awesome initiative, and I am thankful to be part of it. I am looking forward to doing more and helping Ntuli after this to try and get her business into the digital space so that she is not just relying on her physical store,’ said Templar Wales, one of the designers that were part of this year’s initiative.

67 Logos Designathon Celebrates A Legacy

The event itself kicked off with a warm welcome from Waterkeyn and Dawn Nathan Jones, Chief Executive Officer at Over The Rainbow. This was followed by an inspiring ‘Humanity Matters’ talk by renowned Creative Consultant, Ahmed Tilly.

‘Some of the stats coming out say that 50,000 informal traders and 40,000 businesses were affected during the unrest last week. The future of our country depends on sustaining and creating jobs. Entrepreneurs never give up, and these SMEs here today are the saviours of our country. This initiative saw 69 dreamers, entrepreneurs – coming together with 69 thinkers, creatives – working together to give us all a better South Africa,’ said Tilly in his address.

67 Logos Designathon Celebrates A Legacy

‘What stands out for me regarding this initiative is the heart-warming outreach from the creative industry to dedicate their time to helping SME’s and entrepreneurs, especially during this time of need,’ concluded Waterkeyn.


New ACA Board Of Directors Announced

New Board Of Directors Of ACA Announced

Wayne Naidoo opened the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA)’s 74th Annual General Meeting by welcoming all attendees and followed with the Chairman’s Report for 2021. He noted that the past year has arguably been the most challenging period, but ‘gut feeling’ allowed people to steer their way through these uncertain times.

Intuition, coupled with the remarkable collective leadership of the outgoing Board, undoubtedly made the organisation stronger and even more purposeful than ever before. He continued to say that in all of the years during which he has served on the ACA Board, he has never before seen the collective coming together of the leadership as has been the case in the past year and the resultant progress that was made across all portfolios and respective committees.

The new Board of Directors of ACA for the 2021/2022 fiscal was announced at the meeting held on 30 June 2021.

The incoming Board is as follows:

New Board Of Directors Of ACA Announced

Naidoo, who served as Chair in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 fiscals, was re-elected to the position of Chair. The Executive Committee of the ACA now includes Naidoo, Thabang Skwambane, Karabo Songo, Monalisa Zwambila and ACA CEO, Mathe Okaba. The Exco’s tenure runs in tandem with that of the Board of Directors, playing a key role in working closely with the Board of Directors in collectively directing the association’s affairs.

According to Naidoo, 2021 served up the ‘Brief of the Year’, and how they were faced with pressing issues and a mandate that could have been conveniently ignored because of Covid. Instead, the ACA leadership stepped up and tackled it head on, creating magic, the highlights of which were:

• The most transformed board in the history of the ACA in terms of gender and race.

• Transformation committee established to tackle key issues of diversity and empowerment.

• A new membership package introduced to cater for the broader industry.

• A brand refresh.

• MDDA funding: Securing of R3.4 million in bursaries for Red & Yellow learners and a further R1 million in post qualification funding for Women in Leadership.

• Inaugural Effie Awards South Africa launched to replace the Apex awards.

• A tighter and more collaborative industry working in synch to promote the value of offered by the ACA.

‘All of this would not have been possible without your injection of passion and the ownership that you applied so rigorously to your respective portfolios, along with your engaged contribution on the Board,’ said Naidoo. He went on to thank the Exco and the Secretariat, and thanked the CEO for inspiring everyone to rise to the challenge and walk the talk with rigour.

A special mention was made to pay tribute to one of the ACA’s very own, Thandi Mhlongo, a colleague and friend who passed on suddenly on the 12th August 2020. In closing the 74th AGM, Naidoo congratulated and thanked everyone again for the opportunity and honour to serve the industry.

Association For Communication and Advertising

RAPT Creative Creates Campaign For Music Enthusiasts

RAPT Creative Launches Campaign For Music Enthusiasts

RAPT Creative created the #TasteInMusic campaign to continue engaging with the audience it had built for Jameson earlier in the year.

Following the success of its Month of Comedy campaign earlier this year, the agency launched and implemented the digital activation campaign for Jameson as part of the brand’s efforts to ensure it stays top of mind with consumers.

Using influencers to demonstrate the mechanics of the #TasteInMusic promotion, Jameson challenged music enthusiasts to create a cocktail epitomising their favourite piece of music and post themselves doing so to their social media channels while tagging @Jameson and using the #TasteInMusic hashtag. Participants stood to win exclusive and bespoke Jameson Cocktail Kits.

According to RAPT Creative’s Head of Public Relations and Influencer Partnerships, Khangelani Dziba, Jameson Comedy Month connected Jameson with its consumers in an authentic way using humour as the thread. In #TasteofMusic, he said, they were able to do the same by highlighting the chemistry between Jameson, music and aficionados.

‘#TasteInMusic is a platform that is about good music. Paired with a great Jameson cocktail, it gives consumers an opportunity to share their love of music and find more ways to enjoy Jameson whiskey,’ said Dziba.

RAPT Creative

PR Should Have A Seat At The Boardroom Table

PR Should Have A Seat At The Boardroom Table
Moliehi Molekoa, Magna Carta.

According to Magna Carta Reputation Management, government and corporate reputations sink when warnings over smaller acts of maleficence and misdemeanours are treated as cost of doing business and more resources are expended in spinning the event rather than communicating the recourse.

It took the RMS Titanic a mere 160 minutes to sink. It was originally believed that the iceberg had caused a long gash in the hull. But after examining the wreck, it was found that the collision had produced a series of thin gashes as well as brittle fracturing and separation of seams in the adjacent hull plates, allowing water to flood five of the 16 compartments. It also received six ice warnings before the collision.

Public relations, like lifeboats on the Titanic, is often deployed late, causing immense reputational harm both to the company and its CEO. As the industry marked the first World PR Day on 16 July, Magna Carta remains enthused by the fact that Corporate South Africa is increasingly seen making room at the boardroom table for PR professionals. The same cannot be said about the government, as reputation management is often brushed aside by bureaucrats and not considered a critical component to the daily running of the administration.

A good example of this was the reactive cycle of news from the government over the violent protests and looting. Their inability to coordinate communication from the ground created a vacuum that allowed certain narratives to take hold and fed into the insecurities of South Africans. Proactive communications underpinned by a strategy and a firm handle on all its channels would have had a different outcome for the government. Ample evidence exists to show that some of the violence was simply fuelled by fake news.

‘Reputation is vital to the overall health of the business. It’s a trophy you need to shine every day,’ said Moliehi Molekoa, Magna Carta Managing Director. ‘In a digital world, every smartphone wielding individual is a stakeholder. Gone are the days when trust and credibility came with age, today reputation is earned and demands a 24/7 attention. It begins with brand experience, which is just one aspect of the reputation mix. Many professionals in the industry are doing a world class job with campaigns and communication enhancing engagement – driving sales and increasing share of voice.’

But there is a world both inside and outside of people buying a company’s brand. Companies today can be held accountable for the behaviour of their employees even in their social spaces, for things that happen in the global supply chain and regulators can even demand you review questionable business practices of third-party suppliers and contractors.

‘This is not alarmist. Each event, no matter where it occurs in the world, has the propensity to land in the local media. More than a quarter of crises spread to international media within an hour and over two-thirds within 24 hours,’ said Molekoa.

‘South Africans are realising the power they possess and voting with their wallets and voices on social media. Corporate South Africa is yet to give social media its due credit, with most preferring to react than engage. The use of digital technology as an accountability tool makes reputation a strategic risk and just limiting its management to press releases is proving to be detrimental to the industry. We all have to make a conscious effort to show up at the table.’

Organisations need to start being more responsive to addressing risks that have a potential reputational impact as the speed of these risks has materially accelerated thanks to social media. This should not lull corporates into believing that traditional media has lost any grip on reporting. The rebirth of investigative units within mainstream media following the sorry saga of the SARS rouge unit points to traditional media’s ability to pivot at will.

‘As an industry, we need to do justice to the media holding the mirror to the actions and inactions of the public and private sector. It’s a responsibility we need to stop taking lightly. Unfortunately, we have also failed our practitioners. We have done little to shine light on why we are not the dark side,’ added Molekoa.

Like a canary in a coal mine, PR professionals often have a ringside view on issues likely to impact the business and can help manage the risks but this ability is only rarely used to full effect. This is exactly why PR should have a seat at the boardroom table. With PR sitting at the centre of a company’s communications activities, it can offer an unsanitised view of how an issue can manifest itself. The media in such instances is a partner and not an adversary.

‘As consultants, we have been in a fortunate position to make meaningful recommendations to boards on how the company and its management should move the business forward. That said, no amount of creative writing replaces an authentic engagement of leaders with the fourth estate,’ said Molekoa.

World PR Day pays homage to Ivy Lee, who was born on 16 July and is regarded as one of the forefathers of the public relations profession.


Judges From Africa To Serve On Next Creative Leaders 2021 Jury

Judges From Africa To Serve On Next Creative Leaders 2021 Jury

Now in its seventh year, Next Creative Leaders is a free portfolio competition that identifies, celebrates and gives a global platform to talented women and non-binary creatives who are making their mark on the world with both their work and a unique point of view on creative leadership that’s changing the industry for the better.

The One Club for Creativity and The 3% Movement have announced five representatives from Africa who will serve on the diverse global jury for their jointly run Next Creative Leaders 2021, a free competition recognising women and non-binary creatives on the rise both globally and by region. The competition is free to enter, and the deadline for entry has been extended to July 30.

Judges from Africa are:

– Hermann Kamte, Founder, CEO and Creative Director, HKA | Hermann Kamte & Associates, Cameroon.
– Nkanyezi Masango, Executive Creative Director, King James Group, Cape Town.
– Sam Nii Adjaidoo, Co-Founder, Institute of Design and Synergistics Kumasi, Ghana.
– Max Ngari, Executive Creative Director, Dentsu, Kenya.
– Neema Nouse, Copywriter, The Odd Number, Johannesburg.

Along with naming 10 global winners based upon the highest scores from judges, The One Club and The 3% Movement also analyse the next level of highest scoring entrants to recognise those in various regions who may have scored just below the winning level and whose work and creative vision the judges feel deserve honourable mention accolades.

Eligible participants are those who are stepping into leadership roles, including copywriters, art directors, designers, ACDs, newly-promoted creative and design directors with less than one year in the role and creative teams who are doing game-changing work.

Entries highlighting a candidate’s creativity, leadership and unique point of view must be submitted by the extended July 30, 2021 deadline. Entrants are judged on four-to-six pieces of creative work, their background and information about how they — and their work — are pushing the industry forward and making a positive contribution in terms of diversity, mentoring and advocacy.

Winners will be selected by a jury of top creatives and diversity advocates, including past Next Creative Leaders winners, and announced at the 10th annual The 3% Conference to be held in Atlanta on November 2-3, 2021.

Each NCL winner receives a one-year complimentary individual membership with The One Club with opportunities to participate in future One Club awards juries, and complimentary tickets to a One Club professional development conference, panels and mentorship events. Winners receive a complimentary ticket to The 3% Conference and a potential opportunity to speak on the annual Next Creative Leaders panel.

Winners also each get a dedicated article and winning work showcase on The One Club website, promotion on both The 3% Movement and The One Club social channels, invitation to be a part of the 2022 Next Creative Leaders Jury and a special feature on the InVisible Creatives website and Instagram account. Branding for Next Creative Leaders 2021 was designed by NCL 2020 winner Elma Karabegovic, with font designer Zacchary Dempsey-Plante.


Nedbank IMC Announces Partnership With Africa’s First Solar-Powered Media Distribution Channel

New Partnership Announced For Nedbank IMC 2021

Sunshine Cinema is a non-profit organisation that uses solar cinema kits, termed sunboxes, to screen African movies to communities in outlying areas in Africa. The goal is to enthuse and encourage communities to speak up about the issues that they face.

Africa’s premier marketing conference Nedbank IMC 2021 is pleased to announce a partnership with Sunshine Cinema, Africa’s first solar-powered media distribution channel that ignites imaginations and discussion on the continent. The partnership sends out a challenge to South African and African marketers to ‘pay it forward’.

Sunbox Ambassadors, previously unemployed youth from peri-urban and rural areas, are trained as media facilitators. Equipped with sunboxes, they journey out to communities to promote active citizenship inspired by the power of African films.

Sunshine Cinema’s distribution channel employs more than 25 Sunbox Ambassadors in four countries, resulting in a direct audience reach of more than 100,000 people across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia. Over 50 African films have been screened.

With this year’s Nedbank IMC themed, ‘Marketing. The Movie’, the partnership with Sunshine Cinema is a perfect fit. Dale Hefer, CEO of the Nedbank IMC said, ‘Unlocking conversations and empowering youth are dual activities that resonate with the Nedbank IMC. Our own mission is to engage South African and African marketing communities in thinking about the business of marketing, as well as to include a strong element of youth empowerment.’

The partnership is also a call to marketers to ‘pay it forward’ by assisting Sunshine Cinema in the next leg of their journey: the promotion of an education collaboration with the University of Cape Town (UCT). A course will soon be launched in grassroots media facilitation, to assist communities around the world in voicing their challenges and help others steer themselves to a better future. Co-founder of Sunshine Cinema, Rowan Pybus, said, ‘Sunshine Cinema has a decade of inspiring and activating communities through the power of film behind it. The UCT course is a culmination of our learnings, which we hope to share with a global market.’

‘We challenge our brilliant marketers to give of their time and think outside the (Sunshine) box, in working with Sunshine Cinema to conceptualise a marketing campaign for the organisation’s UCT course. For marketers, this could lead to intriguing opportunities to tap into Sunshine Cinema’s solar powered distribution channel,’ said Hefer.

Hefer added that should marketers be eager to find out more about Sunshine Cinema and how to get involved, further information will be revealed at this year’s Nedbank IMC on 29 July. Modern Marketing, a proud media partner of the Nedbank IMC.

+27 10 592 1888

Brands Need Proper Measurement And Success Criteria For Social Media

Brands Need Proper Measurement And Success Criteria For Social Media

According to Richard Lord, Media & Operations Director at Meta Media, during 2020, TV benefitted from a captive, stay-at-home audience with more time on their hands. Newspapers and magazines suffered as traditional distribution channels were decimated. Out of Home (OOH) fell off a cliff as there was nobody out and about. And the platform that arguably benefitted the most? Digital.

2020 proved to be a tumultuous year for advertising. Overnight, budgets were cut, strategies were changed, priorities re-looked, but some platforms fared better than others. We saw increased numbers of people online seeking entertainment, looking for news on the pandemic, shifting their shopping patterns online, and trying to stay in touch with their friends and families.

This is the reason why we have seen increased investment by advertisers into social media platforms, and other forms of digital advertising as well. In fact, digital ad spend grew by double digits year-on-year (almost 20%), while overall ad spend declined for the first time in decades.

According to the recently published 2021 Social Media Landscape report by Ornico and World Wide Worx, there are currently 38.2 million internet users in South Africa (about 64% of our total population). This number grew year on year by 1.7 million users (or 4.5%) while active social media users increased by 13.6% from 22 million users in January 2020 to 25 million users in January 2021. This means that almost 42% of all South Africans are using some form of social media.

Advertising is a numbers game and where the numbers are, the money goes. Digital is therefore well placed to continue seeing double digit ad spend growth over the next few years as we see more and more people being connected.

So where can we find these social media savvy South Africans? According to the Ornico and World Wide Worx report, the most popular social media networks amongst 16-64 year olds are:

Social Media - An Exceptionally Powerful Platform For Advertisers

The report further reveals that social media is the second biggest platform (after TV) amongst internet users in South Africa for people to discover new brands and products. This makes social media an exceptionally powerful platform for advertisers. With massive numbers, social media can provide advertisers with reach in buckets. Reach, as we all know, is critical to the success of any campaign.

The different platforms also allow for that reach to be targeted to the individual needs of advertisers. Better targeting means increased relevance, better noting, better recall, less wastage, increased efficiencies – and, in theory, improved performance.

In theory because, as per the graphs above, many advertisers see social media as an effective platform, but many are still measuring their success based on outdated metrics that do not really add to a company’s bottom line. Vanity metrics such as likes, shares or comments might look good on a marketing dashboard, but there is plenty of research to show that these metrics very rarely translate into sales or business growth, which surely must be the lifeblood of any organisation. Just because someone likes your ad, doesn’t mean they will actually go out and buy your product.

While it is encouraging to see the growth in internet users, the corresponding growth and willingness of advertisers to put ad spend behind the platform as well as the fact that there is an ever-increasing number of advertisers who claim that their social media advertising is not bringing them any brand gains, is a cautionary yellow flag.

It is becoming more and more essential that brands start to put proper measurement and success criteria in place for their social media (and broader digital) campaigns. That is the only way we will see meaningful and sustained growth. Success breeds success. When advertisers start to see real business growth that is attributable to their use of digital media, only then will they be truly convinced to start putting real money into the platform.


Using Digital Communication To Reach Customers Who Aren’t Engaged With Your Brand

Using Digital Communication To Reach Customers Who Aren't Engaged With Your Brand
Brent Haumann, Striata.

According to Brent Haumann, Managing Director of Striata, so much of customer experience is about the relationship an organisation has with its customers. You simply can’t build, or even maintain, a relationship in silence. This is when you need the six superpowers of digital communication. Used properly, digital communication can be used to transform a disengaged customer into an engaged one.

Most companies understand the importance of constantly improving the customer experience. They have likely seen the research that shows how focusing on customer experience can generate a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction and economic gains of 20-50%. They are probably also familiar with the fact that most consumers will pay more for a great experience. But how do you improve the experience of a customer that is not at all engaged with your brand?

The six superpowers of digital communication

Initiates a conversation

How do you reach customers who are not thinking about your brand? The answer is to use digital communication to plant the seeds that lead to engagement and then to take the disengaged customer on a journey that leads to a fully engaged customer. The quickest way of doing so is to provide relevant and useful information that gets the customer to think about your brand.

Stitches together journeys

Managing customer journeys relies on a combination of channels to move customers from the beginning to the end of the journey. Many of these journeys take the customer from a synchronous engagement (where the customer is actively engaging with a channel in your ecosystem) to the point where they have to break out to another channel (such as filling out a form) or return to the process at another time. Digital communication helps to stitch these journeys together and engage the customer asynchronously (when the customer is not actively engaged within your ecosystem). It also enables you to nudge them back to where they left off and help them re-enter the journey.

Builds relationships

Building relationships goes far beyond offering a great product or service. Organisations need to speak to their customers. It’s not possible to build a relationship in silence. Your customers are constantly being wooed by competitors, so you need to show that you care and, perhaps even more importantly, you need to provide value. Organisations also need to equip customers to make good decisions (beyond products and services).

Drives digital adoption

When someone isn’t using a channel, for example, it’s important to find a logical entry point (possibly through their statements or invoices) into the portal so that they see the benefits of that channel. Just because you built it, does not mean customers will use it. You have to actively drive the adoption of digital channels, and digital communication puts these capabilities in front of the customer.

Nudges behaviour

Digital communication can provide the information and tools that drive customer behaviour in the right direction. Remember, the goal is to create an engaged, and profitable, customer. Things like reminders, notifications and relevant information each help to create an engaged customer. You cannot change the behaviour of a disengaged customer.

Creates convenience

In a world where customers can access virtually anything they want at their fingertips, the last thing they want is to jump through hurdles. It’s imperative, therefore, that you don’t make them work to use your services. Using digital communication, your organisation can create a layer of convenience for your customer. Pushing the right communication (secure, personalised, interactive experiences) to your customer eliminates the need for them to break out of their day, resulting in increased engagement. These experiences can be used to prompt the consumer to take the next step and direct them to the most relevant channel.

Engaging your digital superpowers

When it comes to activating the superpowers of digital communication, it is pivotal that anything your organisation sends out resonates as deeply as possible with your customers. If the communication you send a customer is not engaging at its core, it will not drive engagement. Content must be relevant, presentation thereof must be engaging, and ultimately, the communication must motivate the response you want from the customer.


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